Emilia Dunaj
Emilia Dunaj
Head of Technology Insights
March 2024, 9 min. read

All organizations execute processes, but often, they’re far from perfect. Think of the frustration of waiting on hold for hours, dealing with confusing forms, or facing endless delays. All these issues result from inefficient business processes.

But what if there was a way to streamline operations, eliminate errors, and delight customers at every step? Enter Business Process Management (BPM). 

This powerful approach helps organizations analyze, optimize, and automate their processes, leading to smoother operations, happier customers, and, ultimately, a thriving business. 

So, what exactly is BPM, what makes it intelligent, and how can it transform your business? Let’s explore the exciting world of BPM and discover how it can lead to success!

What is BPM? 

Business Process Management (BPM) can mean different things, but its basic idea is always the same. It’s a planned way to improve your business processes to help achieve your company’s goals. This could involve anything from how you interact with clients to how you manage your supply chain, onboard new employees, or handle financial reporting.

A typical business process is a chain of connected tasks. It can involve a wide range of activities carried out by your staff, machines, computers, and even external partners. BPM organizes these tasks into clear, repeatable steps. This segmentation ensures that outcomes are consistent, resources are used efficiently, and any problems are quickly identified and addressed.

To get a better idea of this business strategy, it helps to know the three main types of business process management:

  • Integration-centric BPM: This type of BPM focuses on processes that primarily involve systems and applications. It covers automating and optimizing workflows that rely heavily on IT systems.
  • Human-centric BPM: Centers around processes where people do most of the work. It’s geared towards improving tasks that need human thinking and decision-making, especially when people need to work together.
  • Document-centric BPM: Here, the focus is on processes that are all about handling papers and records. It’s about making it easier to keep, find, and use documents properly, helping the workflow run smoothly and following rules.

But how does BPM software stand apart from traditional management methods? 

The difference between BPM and traditional management

Traditional management is often about hierarchy and specific departmental roles. BPM, in contrast, looks at the bigger picture. It focuses on processes that span across the entire organization, not just parts of it.

In traditional management, decision-making hierarchy and responsibilities typically move up and down a chain of command. It’s a vertical structure. BPM, on the other hand, is more horizontal. It looks at the end-to-end processes that link various departments and functions. BMP focuses on workflow efficiency regardless of organizational boundaries.

To illustrate this, let’s look at handling customer complaints. In a traditional setup, a complaint might bounce between departments, with each handling only a part of the problem. With BPM, the whole complaint process is seen as one complete task, aiming for quicker and more effective resolution. 

This approach becomes even more powerful with digital transformation. Digital tools and platforms bring everything together, making it faster and easier to solve issues and greatly improving the customer experience (CX).

The rise of iBPM

Intelligent BPM (iBPM) is an advancement of traditional BPM. It incorporates technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). These technologies bring a new level of dynamic and complex automation to processes, making them more efficient and adaptable.

Let’s take an example from a back office. By adopting iBPM, AI technology can be used to automate back office processes like invoice processing. The system can automatically sort incoming invoices, verify their details against contracts, and flag discrepancies for human review. 

This automation extends beyond basic data entry. It involves understanding the context of each invoice and making informed decisions, significantly improving the process’s speed and accuracy.

This smarter way of working boosts efficiency and frees up your team for more strategic work. The result? More streamlined workflow and a notable improvement in overall business performance.

→ Further reading: How AI & Automation Are Revolutionizing Back Office Management.

Benefits of implementing intelligent Business Process Management software

Why should businesses invest time and resources into smart, tailored BPM? Because it specifically tackles your unique business challenges. It uses modern software to analyze your data and AI to create the best solutions based on what your business and the market need.

Additionally, iBPM is proactive. It doesn’t just wait for problems to happen. It uses predictive analytics to foresee and adjust to issues before they affect your workflow. 

The impact of iBPM on your business is significant, especially for your bottom line. Here’s what it brings:

  • Process improvement
  • Eliminates waste
  • Cuts errors
  • Saves time
  • Improves compliance
  • Increases agility
  • Supports digital transformation 
  • Improves customer satisfaction

Plus, the speed AI brings into your operations is unmatched. It automates and improves business processes, making decision-making and action faster. This lets you respond quickly to new market situations and customer needs, keeping your business efficient and ready for any kind of challenges.

5 Stages of the BPM lifecycle

Business Process Management lifecycle is built on several stages that work together to improve your business efficiency and effectiveness. Understanding these is key to mastering BPM.

1. Process design

This is where BPM begins. The design phase involves identifying inefficiencies, redundancies, and bottlenecks and then conceptualizing a streamlined process that better meets business goals. Start by mapping out the workflow in its current state and then design an optimized version.

👉 Actionable Tips: Gather data and feedback from team members who are involved in the process. Look for patterns in data that indicate bottlenecks or inefficiencies. Process mining tools can be extremely helpful in this stage, offering insights based on real-time data.

2. Process modeling

This is where the new process is drawn out, typically using a flowchart. It’s important to include clear details like how long tasks should take, what each task involves, and how information moves through the process. Using software designed for Business Process Management can really help here, making it easier to see and understand the whole process.

👉 Actionable Tips: Document each step and don’t overlook the small details. Custom-developed software can be invaluable here, offering templates and frameworks to guide your modeling.

3. Process execution

This is the action stage, where the redesigned process is brought to life. It starts with a ‘trial run’ or proof of concept, testing the new BPM system with a smaller group. This allows for real-world feedback and adjustments. Once refined, the process is then gradually introduced to more people in the organization, ensuring a smooth transition from the old way of doing things to the new, optimized process.

👉 Actionable Tips: Focus on clear communication and training. Ensure that everyone involved understands the new process and their role in it. Also, set up a system to collect feedback and monitor process performance closely during the early stages of implementation.

4. Process monitoring

After setting the new process in motion, the next vital step is to keep an eye on how it’s doing. This means regularly checking if it’s as efficient as planned, spotting any new problems, and making sure it’s achieving what it’s supposed to. Throughout this phase, your team should keep a close watch on the process. Have them measure how much it’s improving things and look out for any other areas that might be slowing things down.

👉 Actionable Tips: Set up key performance indicators (KPIs) for your processes. Regularly review these KPIs to understand how well your processes are performing. Use technology, like custom-developed project management software, to automate monitoring and get real-time feedback, which is essential for timely optimization.

5. Process optimization

With the insights in hand, it’s time to tweak and fine-tune your process for even better performance. This final step involves making those crucial adjustments and adjusting the process based on what you’ve learned. 

👉 Actionable Tips: Don’t be afraid to experiment with small changes and measure their impact, ensuring continuous improvement of the process.

Business Process Management system use cases

BMP software isn’t confined to a single area of a business. It can remove inefficiencies within a given workflow across various departments. Here are some key business process automation use cases:

  • Finance: In finance, BPM simplifies complex tasks like budgeting and financial reporting. The right software for finance automates and streamlines these processes, reducing errors and ensuring compliance with financial standards.
  • HR: For HR, BPM transforms recruitment, onboarding, and employee management. Digital HR solutions automate paperwork and coordinate processes, making the HR team’s work more efficient and improving employee experiences.
  • Legal and compliance: BPM is invaluable for managing legal documents and ensuring compliance. It keeps track of changes in regulations, helps maintain records, and simplifies audit processes.
  • Supply chain management: In supply chain management, BPM optimizes everything from inventory control to logistics. Introducing a robust supply chain management automation tool means better coordination with suppliers and more efficient management of resources.
  • Customer service: BPM automates customer service tasks like handling inquiries and collecting feedback. This speeds up response time and helps deliver consistent, high-quality customer service.
  • IT: For IT teams, BPM manages requests, system updates, and cybersecurity protocols efficiently. It ensures smooth IT operations and helps in the quick resolution of technical issues.
  • Sales teams: BPM can be used to automate sales processes, track customer interactions, and manage leads. This frees up your sales team to focus on building customer relationships and closing sales.

Additionally, the BPM suite is crucial for business continuity planning. It helps your businesses to prepare for disruptions, ensuring they can keep running smoothly in any situation.

Conclusion

Business Process Management tools make your processes faster, better, and more efficient. When you add the intelligent factor (iBPM), you supercharge these benefits, integrating advanced technology for greater agility and insight.

To implement this smart strategy into your business, you need to find the time to analyze and adapt and the right partner to choose appropriate business process management tools and technologies. 

The rewards, however, are well worth the effort: optimized business processes, improved performance, and a robust bottom line. Whether you’re just starting out with BPM or looking to refine existing processes, the key is to keep the focus on continuous improvement. 

That’s where Right Information comes in. We know BPM inside and out, and we’re ready to help you with both BPM and digital consulting. We’re the right team to help your business grow and stay on top of things.

Interested in making your business processes the best they can be? Get in touch with our experts at Right Information. Let’s make your business operations top-notch.